Appeals Court Upholds California DNA Law


Family Law Channel Host Judge Eugene Hyman explains the California DNA ruling.

(CSM) A federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled that a California law requiring the taking of a DNA sample from every adult arrested for a felony does not violate the Constitution’s prohibition on unreasonable searches. The panel of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to uphold the law, which permits the collected samples to be stored in a nationwide database for potential use in future investigations. Challengers had argued in a class-action lawsuit that the DNA law – passed in 2004 as Proposition 69 – would facilitate the use of their DNA samples in future investigations without the government first obtaining a warrant or reasonable suspicion. They said such actions violate Fourth Amendment privacy protections. “We conclude that the government’s compelling interests far outweigh arrestees’ privacy concerns,” wrote Judge Milan Smith in a 33-page decision joined by Senior District Judge James Dale Todd. Read more at Christian Science Monitor

Supreme Court to decide constitutionality of health care individual mandate

Will BP Oil Spill victims pay tax on settlement? Robert Wood